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article imageOP-ED: Appeals Court Tosses NYC Gun Industry Suit

By Mr Garibaldi     Apr 30, 2008 in Politics
A Federal Appeals court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by New York City against the firearms industry. The reason for the suit? Firearms can find their way into the black market.
I think I'm going to see if I can get some sort of lawsuit going against Chrysler Corporation, because there's the distinct possibility that my pickup could be stolen and wind up in a chop shop, the parts being sold from there, having been procured by illegal means. Maybe I'll sue Panasonic, as well, since my TV could be stolen and resold by people using nefarious means to get rid of it.
Makes sense, doesn't it?
How a suit against the gun industry made it's way into the court system on the grounds that firearms can be obtained illegally makes equally as little sense, if it comes down to it, in my opinion. And yet that's just what happened in a case brought by New York City against the gun industry.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal law provides the gun industry with broad immunity from lawsuits brought by crime victims and violence-plagued cities. A federal judge had allowed the lawsuit to proceed, though it had not yet reached trial.
New York is one of several cities that had sued gun makers. It said the industry violated public nuisance law by failing to take reasonable steps to stop widespread access to illegal firearms.
The lawsuit asked for no monetary damages. It had sought a court order for gun makers to more closely monitor those dealers who frequently sell guns later used to commit crimes.
I can hear the conversation now, can't you? "Hey, Bubba, run down there to the pawn shop and pick a couple of .38's up, will ya? We're going to need them to knock off the corner liquor store this weekend."
According to the Department of Justice, a very small percentage of guns used in crimes came from legal purchases:
*According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from -
o a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
o a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
o family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%
* During the offense that brought them to prison, 15% of State inmates and 13% of Federal inmates carried a handgun, and about 2%, a military-style semiautomatic gun.
* On average, State inmates possessing a firearm received sentences of 18 years, while those without a weapon had an average sentence of 12 years.
* Among prisoners carrying a firearm during their crime, 40% of State inmates and 56% of Federal inmates received a sentence enhancement because of the firearm.
I very seriously doubt that those numbers have changed that significantly in ten years time. There is a concerted effort in this country to rid the citizenry of the right to bear arms. These groups and individuals involved in this movement will attempt legal action in the most frivolous and outrageous ways in the attempt to undermine the second amendment rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States of America as set forth by the founders of this nation.
I can't help but wonder if they would approach with the same zeal a movement to eliminate the fifth amendment, or perhaps the ninth.
I know that the argument "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is probably one of the most frequently used in discussions regarding gun control. There's a reason for that; a firearm is not a sentient being, nor is it a creature of flesh and blood. A firearm is an inanimate object. There is no instance of a firearm rising of it's own volition and discharging it's ammunition against anyone.
Homicide is a uniquely human activity, as is any crime.
And it doesn't always involve the use of firearms.
If cities like New York are serious about preventing crime, it should look at other means than trying to sue the gun industry. Kennesaw, Georgia, is often used as an example of how a municipality can institute a program that makes a positive impact on crime. Unfortunately, that "inconvenient truth" doesn't play into the anti-gun agenda.
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